China’s first gay web series has been removed from streaming sites.
Addicted – a 15-episode series about a gay high school couple – disappeared from the internet without warning on Monday (22 February), leaving angry fans unable to watch the last three episodes.
According to local media reports, censors took issue with the show’s depiction of ‘abnormal sexual behavior’ and ‘romance between minors.’
Homosexuality was removed from China’s official list of mental disorders in 2001 but remains a taboo subject.
Addicted became massively popular over the Chinese New Year holiday, especially among female fans.
The first episode broke records when it was released on 29 January, racking up 10 million hits in 24 hours.
In an online poll by the Chengdu Committee for the Well-being of Youth and Teenagers, more than 93% of the 20,000 respondents disapproved of the removal.
‘The SAPPRFT (decision) is too much. Is it necessary? It’s so unpopular,’ said a user on China’s Twitter-like Weibo.
Addiction’s writer and producer, who uses the pen name Chaijidan, said shooting for the second season would ‘not be impacted’ by the ban and would likely start in May.
The show’s Weibo account said the final three episodes would be available on YouTube – but the site is also blocked in China.
Watch the trailer for Addicted below: